1996 is quite possibly the biggest year ever in the wrestling career of Stone Cold Steve Austin, and many fans realize why. Sure, there are years that he won multiple championships and others where he was in the main event of WrestleMania, but that was the year his character was truly born. In honor of many big happenings that year, WWE felt it was necessary to provide video honoring the first time Austin ever delivered the Stone Cold Stunner.
Over the course of his career, there have been thousands upon thousands of people who have received the vicious Stone Cold Stunner. It advanced a bit over the years and could kind of be pulled out of nowhere much like Randy Orton’s RKO is today.
In 1996, the King Of The Ring was still a major pay-per-view (PPV) and the tournament actually had qualifying matches on episodes of Monday Night Raw leading up to it. It was on June 17 of that year that Austin took on Savio Vega in a match to earn a spot in the tournament semi-finals on the PPV.
The official website of WWE released a video with a small portion of that match, which had Vince McMahon calling the action and actually believing that Vega was going to win. Little did they know that they were watching history being made in front of them.
In the video (at the bottom of the article), McMahon is shocked by the move that Austin pulled out to win the match. He actually didn’t even know what to call it as it didn’t have a name and it wasn’t known as a finisher at the time.
A week later at King Of The Ring, Austin would go on to defeat Marc Mero in the semi-finals and then, he defeated Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the finals. It was at this point that Austin went to accept his place as king and delivered the promo of all promos.
At the time, Jake Roberts had a gimmick of being a born-again Christian and he would always recite Bible verses to his opponents. During Austin’s post-match promo, he threw out what would be his catchphrase for the rest of his career.
“Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16 — Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your a**.”
Austin continued on with his promo and let the world know that he was coming after them to become the best in WWF/WWE. At the end of it all, he simply said, “And when I get the shot, you’re looking at the next WWF Champion, and that’s the bottom line ’cause Stone Cold said so.”
More than 20 years ago, a star was born with just one big move in a match on Monday Night Raw. At the time, that maneuver didn’t even have a name, but it later went on to become the Stone Cold Stunner and it will go down in the record books as one of the greatest finishers ever. Stone Cold Steve Austin is a WWE Hall of Famer and a legend, and the 1996 King Of The Ring is all that is needed to know why.
[Featured Image by WWE]